Sony’s Best Trade-In Sale Ending Soon | Get Up To $1000 or More Towards New Sony Gear

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Sony’s Best Trade-In Sale Ending Soon | Get Up To $1000 or More Towards New Sony Gear

Sony’s trade-in events, when they happen, are a big deal. Essentially, you can trade in any working SLR or mirrorless camera where the value of it, and then some, would be deducted from the purchase of a new Sony. It was a resounding hit and I know for quite a few it was all the nudge they needed to finally lurch at a Sony A7 series. It’s been back, better than ever, and is now once again about to close. The current trade-in event ends April 1st. It should be said too that it’s not just bodies, but lenses as well. Depending on the combination of what you’re trading and looking to buy, you could find yourself with $1,000 credit or more to a new Sony camera or lens, so if you were in the market, now would seem an opportune time – especially given the remarkable stuff Sony’s got on tap, from the A7 to the a6500 or a99II. The deal is essentially a trifecta of incentives: At the moment there are significant instant rebates on some of the best Sony cameras and lenses like the A7RII and Sony 24-70mm 2.8 GM ($300), which are then combined with trade-in bonuses up to $480 depending on your purchase, and then of course there’s trade in value for whatever camera you’re trading in. So that’s Rebate + Bonus While Trade-In Even is on + trade-in gear value. The First 5 Lenses To Buy For Your Sony A7 Series Camera Sony A7II | Proof Size Isn’t Everything, It’s How You Use It You can check it out here.        Share...

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How Does AMD’s Newest CPU Compare to Intel & Why It Matters To Photographers & Videographers

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

How Does AMD’s Newest CPU Compare to Intel & Why It Matters To Photographers & Videographers

Until recently, if you wanted the most performance per dollar from your computer you would go with an Intel based system. Looking at the most popular workstations for photo and video work there seems to be a trend where whether your OS of choice is Mac and you tote the latest portable with a touch bar, or you have a Windows based system with a 4K touchscreen like the Dell 9550, they all run off the same architecture. [REWIND: APPLE IS DEAD TO ME… | TREY RATCLIFF ON SWITCHING BACK TO WINDOWS] Intel, despite producing new processors every year, hasn’t really improved the performance very much over the generations; instead focusing on the overall stability of their system. The Core i7 6700K in my desktop station has only a 20% performance increase (at most) to the Core i7 2760QM in my 2011 Macbook Pro. Although this is about a 5% gain per year, AMD still struggled to keep up. WHAT IS AMD RYZEN? Searching on Amazon, Newegg, and B&H Photo prebuilt AMD systems seemed to be relegated to lower-end laptops or budget gaming systems – until the dawn of Ryzen, AMD’s new CPU that is stealing the attention away from Intel. Ryzen is AMD’s newest brand of high-end processors. Directly competing against Intel’s Core i5 and i7 chips, the processors use a 14nm process for manufacturing, resulting in smaller and more power-efficient chips; up to 40% over previous generations. What Does this Mean For Photographers? AMD’s newest flagship, the Ryzen 7 1800X, is trying to shake up the market with attractive pricing and huge performance. Their 8-Core/16-Tread Ryzen 7 is about $550 less than the equivalent Intel Broadwell-E-based Core i7-6900K, while retaining the same performance. While not all creatives are as into performance ratio or manufacturing process as I am, they care more about how it performs in real world scenarios. In one of Max Yuryev‘s latest video, he demonstrates the power of the new Ryzen chip, in a system that cost less than the equivalent Intel processor to boot. (Max has a host of great material and new videos all the time, so check him out and show some love here) Conclusion The 1800X is a game changer in both threaded-productivity and content creation. Even the less expensive Ryzen 7 1700X and 1700 directly compete against Intel’s Core i7-6800K and Core i7-7700K, while swinging more processing power than the blue team with unlocked multipliers. The newest CPUs don’t excel at everything, namely gaming performance, but will be killer in a workstation where raw performance is necessary. While the new Ryzen CPUs are for desktops only, AMD plans to release a mobile version for laptops starting the second half of this year. Just don’t expect newer MacBook’s to have them, as thunderbolt is an Intel exclusive.        Share...

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Using Juxtaposition for More Compelling Landscape Photography

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Using Juxtaposition for More Compelling Landscape Photography

Juxtaposition – it’s one of my favorite words, and also one of the most important aspects of successful photography. It’s used in portraiture, outdoor adventure, and frequently in travel photography. In images of the landscape, however, juxtaposition is often overlooked. I say overlooked because many photographers integrate juxtaposed elements in their landscapes without even being aware of them. You see, juxtaposition, or the way different elements conflict and contrast, is a key feature in most good landscape photographs. Though there are a dozen or more different ways juxtaposition can occur in an image, in this article I’m going to concentrate on three; color, texture, and subject matter. Juxtaposition – Color You are probably familiar with the color wheel. Likely you were introduced to the concept in grade school when you learned the difference between primary and secondary colors. More recently, if you have selected a new font color on your word processing program you’ve likely seen some form of the color wheel. Simply, a color wheel shows the three primary colors (red, blue, and yellow) occupying three slices of the circle with all the mixing iterations of color blending together between them. The result is a continuous blur of colors, encompassing just about everything on the visible spectrum. Many landscape images will have multiple juxtapositions. In this case, color is foremost with the warm tones on the salt mounds against the deeper blues of the water and sky. But the shape and texture also stand out. (Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia). Colors that are opposite from one another (complementary) on the wheel like; blue and yellow, red and green, or orange and purple, for example, will juxtapose. That is, they will stand out from one another; some in a pleasing way, some in a conflicting way. Both can work in photography, depending on your goal, but you need to be aware of the way colors communicate in an image to assure your final result is what you intend. In this aerial image of the Baird Mountains in northwest Alaska, the turquoise tarn in the foreground stands out as the brightest patch of color in the frame, juxtaposed from the muted grays and browns of the mountains. Reds and blues, for example, are very commonly blended in landscape photography; blue water with sunset sky, red flowers on a bluebird day, autumn colors against a dark backdrop, etc. Color plays an important role in landscape photography, and we recognize pleasing color combinations as soon as we see them. But recognizing WHY they are pleasing, is different from seeing that they are. Look for those relationships in your compositions, and concentrate on their placement. Some colors, red for example, are extremely effective at drawing the eye. But to be most effective, red needs to be counteracted by cooler tones, balancing the image. Mind how the colors are distributed in your image. It matters....

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Join The Panasonic GH5 Livestream Event At B&H Today | Learn About & Win A GH5

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Join The Panasonic GH5 Livestream Event At B&H Today | Learn About & Win A GH5

It’s fair to say that the first really big piece of news and critical piece of tech to come this year was the Panasonic GH5. When they teased the world with what would be the follow-up to the GH4 in September, the world was all ears. Now that some initial field reviews and reports have been coming out, and the GH5 will be released soon, you can learn all about it with B&H’s Panasonic GH5 livestream today, that’s starting now (March 29th @ 1pm EDT), and watch it below! [REWIND: ENTERING BEAST MODE | PANASONIC RELEASES THE LONG-AWAITED GH5] The livestream event will be hosted by B&H and filmmakers Jacki Huntington, Griffin Hammond, David Flores, Lok Chueng, and Panasonic LUMIX Luminary team member Sean Robinson. The group will be discussing the camera in-depth, regarding its features and place in the market, and place in the photo/video world. The’ll also be fielding user-submitted questions, live. If you DO submit a question via Twitter and attach the hashtag #BHPhotolive you’ll be entered to win a GH5, so give it a go. You can click here to find the page, and join in on a discussion about one of the most anticipated cameras in ages. And, if you fancy yourself a GH5, you can pre-order one here, and also take a look at the Panasonic Lumix GH5 Filmmaking Kit which includes Extend Your 1-Year Warranty To 3-Years For Free valid until 03/31/17 $100 Gift Card to B&H DMW-XLR1 XLR Microphone Adapter DMW-BGGH5 Battery Grip DMW-AC10 AC Adapter DMW-DCC12 DC Coupler Check it out here, and again, check out the live stream below:        Share...

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Learn A Thing Or Two About Color Balance From Disney’s ‘Beauty & The Beast’

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Learn A Thing Or Two About Color Balance From Disney’s ‘Beauty & The Beast’

White balance in photography can be a tricky concept to grasp on its own, but adding and mixing different colors complicates things even more. After stepping out of Beauty and The Beast I felt inspired to start mixing some light due to the constant battle/marriage between CTO & CTB. The fear that most have when attempting this technique lies in the inability to keep skin tones neutral – so what is the solution? Understanding White balance & color temperature Before jumping into the inspiration, watch this quick Lighting 101 video to get a primer on the key points of understanding how to manipulate in-camera color balance to help save you time in post-production and to get you to start thinking creatively. [REWIND: CORRECTIVE COLOR BALANCE] in-camera color balance & color temperature The scenes consistently portray a mix of mood as blue light streams through the castle windows but ambient candle light and chandeliers illuminate the interiors. We can easily replicate this with off-camera flashes with CTO & CTB gels and an in-camera color temperature change in kelvin. Remember, the higher the number, the warmer/more orange the image will appear. We first get a glimpse of this from the teaser poster which you can see below, and notice how the font fades into a blue towards the bottom right edge. The light in the movie is used to depict the struggle between good and evil as Belle enters the castle and, quite literally, warms it up. Her famous yellow ball gown is a symbol of that warmth, while the Beast stays in cooler blue attire through the entirety of the movie (sorry for that spoiler). The room that holds the rose is actually the scene where I first noticed the theme of color mixing. Once the subjects entered the cooler area, the camera used the orange ambient light in the background to add production value to the scene instead of just keeping them in one light. This helps depict mood, story, and tone to the viewer. We actually discuss the very same technique in Photographing the Groom when discussing the horrible lighting we are faced with in hotel rooms. [REWIND: white balance vs. color correction] One CTO gelled flash was added in the background to create separation from the background & purposefully to mix color in this scene. This is all very typical of Hollywood movie sets; gelling to appear as though it’s nighttime with CTB (color temperature blue) gels, all while keeping skin tones neutral with CTO (color temperature orange) gels. And it’s evident in the ballroom scene as the Beast spins bell and we see a glorious mixture of orange and blue in the background, yet Belle’s skin tone is magically neutral. Well, sorry to break it to you, but there was no spell cast on that skin, that’s just light, aimed and placed purposefully to balance out...

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Visual Flow – How to Get the Most out of Composition

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Featured, Photography Tips

Visual Flow – How to Get the Most out of Composition

In photography terms, composition can make the difference between a good image and a fantastic one. Yes, you need all the other components; the light has to be dramatic, the subject compelling, and the colours vibrant. All of these will add to the final result. If you have all that, but your composition is not great, the image will fall flat. Jay Maisel has a quote that goes like this, “As the photographer, you are responsible for every inch of the frame”. This is true, and one of Jay’s other mantras is that he prefers to speak about framing and not cropping. His view is that framing is done at the time of making the image. Cropping is done afterward in post-production. He maintains that cropping changes the original intent of the image. If you frame an image in a particular way and then crop it afterward, it really is a different image. Frame your scene correctly in camera I don’t think Jay is saying that you shouldn’t crop, but rather that you need to compose with intent and purpose, not simply hope for the best and try and “fix” the image later by cropping. Good composition can really be impactful on your image. Changing your composition is free. You don’t need any special equipment or lenses. There’s no need to wait for a specific type of light. You can shoot at any time of day. Composition is the one thing in photography that is easiest to fix, yet it is most often overlooked. There are many articles on DPS and other sites about composition and the best techniques for improving composition, so I won’t try to reinvent the wheel. What I want to talk about here is visual flow. This is more about the visual journey you are taking your viewer on than the destination. In this article, we aren’t going to discuss the rule of thirds and powerpoints, but we will discuss how framing, removing distractions, and how light, shape, and texture will all contribute to your composition. We will look at how someone’s eye will travel through your image. You want the viewers of our images to look at them longer, to find them interesting and to be captivated and inspired by what they see. Framing not cropping As the photographer, you need to take responsibility for everything in the frame. That means, you decide what will be in the shot and sometimes more importantly, what will NOT be in the shot. Your subject needs to be in the frame obviously, but what else absolutely needs to be included? Ask yourself if all the elements in the frame are adding to the narrative or story you are trying to tell. If not, get rid of what is not working. In this case, less is definitely more (and usually better). Be aware of visual clutter in the...

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